Kjerstad honored as the 2021 Distinguished Young Pharmacist
Wed, 09/22/2021 - 8:04am admin
Philip’s hometown pharmacist, Courtney Kjerstad, was honored as the 2021 Distinguished Young Pharmacist by the South Dakota Pharmacists Association at the annual convention this September. This award recognizes individual excellence and outstanding contribution to the pharmacy profession and communities across South Dakota. It has been in existence since 1987 and is chosen by the SDPhA executive team.
Kjerstad graduated from South Dakota State University in 2011 with top honors. She entered the pharmacy profession as a pharmacist in Arizona where she gained extensive knowledge for the business. She knew experience would be required to realize her dream of owning her own pharmacy.
Little did she know, after a few short years of continual self-development, this dream would be realized at the young age of 27. She and her husband moved back home to Philip in 2013 where they pursued their ambitions and purchased Zeeb Pharmacy from mentor and friend, Milo Zeeb, a year later. They re- named the pharmacy to Dakota Country Pharmacy. This pharmacy has been serving the Philip community and greater area since the early 1900’s when Philip was first established.
Kjerstad and her husband have been privileged to further their presence in community pharmacies by purchasing other businesses with a great ownership team and staff in four other South Dakota communities. Those pharmacies include Custer, Gettysburg, Highmore and Bowdle, which serve these locations and several surrounding communities. Courtney’s leadership and willingness to pass on her knowledge and passion has helped to ensure numerous rural South Dakotans are able to receive the best pharmaceutical care possible.
One of the store patrons at Dakota Country Pharmacy says of Kjerstad, “She is a true community pharmacist wearing several hats; running the local pharmacy, serving the area healthcare facilities, and is on call 24/7 when something is needed after hours. She is willing to do anything at the drop of a hat for her customers and patients.” Kjerstad is a strong advocate for Philip Health Services as a member and professional for the local non-profit healthcare facility. She serves as Manager/PIC for the inpatient pharmacy at PHS among other roles.
While her pharmacy practice is extremely important to her, family and community involvement are her top priority. She is passionate about the younger generation as evidenced by her connection with the Haakon County School District’s School to Work program where she mentors students who spend a period at the pharmacy learning about the profession. She currently teaches K-1st grade release time classes at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. She is Treasurer of Haakon County Young Women and is a member of Philip Health Services Hospital Auxiliary. Her business sponsors several local causes including Philip Chamber of Commerce, Philip Scotties Booster Club, Lake Waggoner Golf Course, Haakon County Young Women and Haakon/Jackson Country 4-H.
Kjerstad and her husband Dillon have 4 children: Kaden (8), Grayson (6), Taelyn (3) and Madelyn (1). In her free time, she enjoys running, golfing, reading and biking with her family.